Back away from the Goldfish crackers and ring in the new year with 2019’s healthy snack trends for kids. The New Year is the perfect time to restart your family’s healthy eating habits. It’s not always easy to encourage kids to choose the good stuff, but a new report gives you plenty of exciting new options to tempt them with.

Partnering with 5,000 experts and practitioners in the food an beverage industry, like food scientists and dieticians, the makers of KIND have compiled their first annual report on the top food and nutrition trends for the new year. Here are a few of the trends we bet you’ll be spotting in lunchboxes in 2019.

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Imperfect Produce

Perfection is out and “ugly” is in, at least when it comes to food. The report predicts an uptick in misshapen and imperfect produce in an effort to produce less waste. For those kids who don’t like eating their fruits and veggies, they just might be willing to eat a carrot if it resembles say, an alien.

Whimsical Water

2018 was clearly the year of carbonated water with companies like La Croix gaining a steady fanbase. Next year will bring even more new H2O trends, with infused waters. If you have a hard time getting kids to stay hydrated throughout the day, you might have some luck with water flavored with berries, oranges, or other fresh fruits or vegetables.

Snacks for Your Gut

Probiotics have been steadily growing in popularity. In 2019, KIND predicts you'll see even more new food products targeted at keeping your gut healthy with fiber, as well as prebiotics and probiotics.

Hold the Added Sugar

Too much sugar is generally a recipe for disaster with kids, but in 2019 it's likely the focus will be less on the amount of sugar as a whole and more on the amount of added sugar. Companies are now required to distinguish between added and naturally-occurring sugars on food labels, which means you’ll be able to see exactly what kind of sugar you’re dealing with.

Seed Butters

Move over peanut—seeds are the new dance partner for jelly. With the growing awareness of kids with food allergies and schools asking parents to leave the peanut products at home it just makes sense that seed butters are on the rise in popularity. KIND’s report predicts that you’ll be seeing more sunflower, pumpkin and even watermelon seed butters in 2019.

Whole Foods First

In the new year, the healthy eating focus will emphasize food over vitamins. In other words, bypass the fortified breakfast cereals in favor of whole oats or a homemade smoothie. Whole foods that are inherently nutrient-rich will take top billing over processed items meant to mimic those nutrients with additives.

photo: Hard Rock Cafe

Meat-less Meat

Going "meatless for Monday"—or any day of the week now—is growing in popularity. Not only is a vegetarian diet healthier for your body and the environment, but it can also help you avoid the near-endless meat recalls we've seen this year. Rather than simply eliminating meat, however, in 2019 you’ll see many more companies offering meat alternatives, like Impossible Meat.

—Shahrzad Warkentin

 

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